Monday, December 13, 2010

Interview With Alberto De Gioannini of Effetto Mariposa, Part 1

Welcome to the first part of my interview with Alberot Senor De Gioannini, maker of Effetto Mariposa products.    Effetto Mariposa offers one of the leading tubeless tire sealants, the Caffelatex product, and also offers tubeless conversion kits for mountain bikes.  He is also developing a range of road tubeless offerings.

Jason:    Bonjourno Senor De Gioannini,

Now that I have nearly exhausted my knowledge of Italian, thank you for your willingness to contribute to my Go Tubeless Blog about Road Tubeless Technology.

Mountain bike tubeless technology has been around for a long time, while road tubeless is relatively new.  What do you see as the challenges in sealing road tubeless tires as opposed to MTB tires?

Alberto: The main difference between road and mtb tubeless is that you're compelled to use natively tubeless tires on the road, while you can normally convert standard tires to tubeless for mtb (as an extra safety norm, we still recommend to use tubeless or tubeless-ready tires also for mountain bike... but using normal tires on the road is not just a risk, it's looking for disaster). This is due to the main difference #2, the pressure: around 100 psi on the road, around 30 psi for mtb. Wheel conversion is similar and not particularly difficult in both cases (again, the high pressure on the road means you have to pay extra care to your sealing tape).

Jason:    On your website, you do show a couple bikes you have converted to road tubeless with your Caffe Tubeless Conversion Kits.  How have the road    conversions been working for you?

Alberto: No problem at all. Once you figure out how to properly seal the valve hole, the conversion is very reliable.

Jason: I noticed you tried the Hutchinson Fusion 3 as well as the IRC road tubeless tire which is not available in the United States.   Do you have any comment on the IRC offering?

Alberto: The IRC prototypes I've been testing (they're not available in Europe either) were very (I mean VERY) tight to mount and didn't have a carbon bead. Good air-tightness even without sealant, slightly lighter than Fusion 3, a softer compound up front. I'm still using them.

Jason:  The literature on your sealant andyour tubeless conversion kit seems only to specify mountain bike applications.  Do you feel these products are equally suited for road tubeless application?   Are you planning any road specific offerings?

Alberto: Our kit is mtb-specific and is not recommended for road tubeless conversions (we do it at our own risk for testing purposes). A road-specific kit is in the works.

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